Written by Sean McPheat |
Just what in the world is it that really puts people off when they receive a cold call? Let’s face it; we know that for years the buying public has been becoming more frustrated and annoyed by telephone solicitation. But sometimes the reaction is near hostile.
If you are like most professional sales people, you actually don’t mind if someone tells you they are not interested or do not wish to speak with you, AFTER you had a chance to explain the reason for the call. However, often the instant response to, “Hello…” is so bad, you never get that far.
The following is an opening, a cold call introduction idea that is guaranteed to get you better, warmer responses.
The main reason for the hostility at the beginning of a cold call is the prospect’s previous experience with receiving cold calls. Chances are, this person has been bombarded with calls from the everyday, stereotypical, 80’s style Smile and Dial telemarketer. It is this fast talking, insensitive, hard-of-hearing automaton that the buyer hates and fears. What you must do is whatever is necessary to dispel that image and instantly disassociate yourself with that stereotype.
The First Few Seconds
In a cold call, you have but a precious few seconds to dispel any negative preconceived images and thoughts the prospect may have of you due to previous sales calls. In fact, the very first words, or sounds out of your mouth, will be the image the buyer receives. If those first few words remind the prospect of the Smile and Dial telemarketer, you are dead.
This is what usually happens to most telephone prospectors. In a matter of five seconds, you are into a battle, trying to overcome objections like. “I’m not interested!” or “We have no funds…” even before you have explained who you are or why you called.
The First Impression
To instantly steer the buyer’s mind away from the stereotypical image, you need to mess up. That’s right. You need to screw up your perfect sales presentation badly, right from the start. You have to understand that the prospect is used to, expecting and looking for the flawless, sharp-tongued sales person. So don’t sound like that.
Slow down, and make a few mistakes right in the beginning. Now I’m not saying that you need to stutter and stammer along for five minutes. Just a quick little “fumble” as you begin to speak.
“Ah, yes, um, is Steve in?” = Normal telephone call.
“Steve Smith in your IT department please.” = Telemarketer.
Normal and Natural
If you think about it and listen, you will see that most normal phone calls start with this natural fumble; that second or two as the caller momentarily collects his or her thoughts.
So slow down and make a mistake. It’s normal, natural and makes you sound human. Try this and you are guaranteed to add a little warmth to the reception of your cold calls.
Originally published: 15 November, 2012
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